News | 19 May 2022

Vodafone leaders lauded as ethnic minority role models

Vishal Dixit and Sade Oladugbewo named on EMpower’s 2022 Role Model lists.

Two of Vodafone’s UK leaders have been honoured as ethnic minority role models in the workplace.

Vishal Dixit, Strategy and Wholesale Director, has been honoured on the 2022 EMpower Advocate Executives Role Model List. Sade Oladugbewo, a senior project manager, has been named on this year’s EMpower Future Role Model List.

This is Vishal Dixit’s second year on the list – he was recognised in 2021 for leading several racial equality initiatives within Vodafone. The EMpower Role Model lists, supported by Yahoo Finance, showcase the individuals in global business who are opening up opportunities within the workplace for people of colour.

While serving as its Executive Sponsor, Vishal re-launched Vodafone’s Multicultural Inclusion Network (MIN) in 2019 and spearheaded key initiatives to drive systemic change. These included the #CountMeIn campaign aimed at recording employee ethnicity data to help enhance diversity, pioneering a new ‘Inclusive Leadership Training’ module that will be mandatory for senior leaders, and developing a comprehensive Roadmap for Race & Ethnicity, with a structured series of policy, training and communications improvements.

Vishal has also been coaching 10 key Regional Chairs of the MIN as part of a ‘Speak Out and Speak Proud’ initiative, participating in monthly all-company webinars on race and ethnicity, encouraging others to participate in listening sessions, and bringing allies into Vodafone’s employee networks.

Sade Oladugbewo, a senior project manager at Vodafone, was also praised by EMpower

Sade founded both the MIN and the Vodafone Black Professionals Network. She created and guided the Multi-cultural Inclusion Strategy around race and employee engagement, which has led Vodafone to design and develop its REACH strategy. She has raised awareness of minority groups within Vodafone, both globally and in the UK, highlighting the role that senior leaders can play in driving inclusion.

Outside of Vodafone, Sade has been mentoring and coaching. One project inolved creating a network to support young Black and ethnically diverse professionals in the next steps of their careers.

Racial equality at work: 'We need to reach higher'

Ensuring representation of Vodafone leaders from black and other ethnically underrepresented groups not only makes business sense – it’s the right thing to do, argues Clare Corkish, Vodafone's UK Director of Human Resources.

Vishal said: “Leading by example is one of the best things a person can do in the workplace to help bring about change. I hope my place on this year’s list will help inspire others to do the same.”

Sade said: “Sharing my knowledge and experience with others – both inside and outside Vodafone – is one way I can help bring about greater social justice. Awareness can lead to action – we all must do whatever we can, however we can.”

The OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists, EMpower’s stablemates, have previously recognised the efforts of LGBT+ Vodafone employees in the UK for their training, mentoring and fundraising efforts.

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